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Reggio Emilia Approach

The child is at the center.

Reggio Emilia is an educational philosophy based on the image of a child with strong potentialities for development and a subject with rights, who learns through the hundred languages belonging to all human beings, and grows in relations with others.

Since 1996, Lincoln School faculty and administration have been developing programming influenced by pre-schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. With funding from the Rhode Island Foundation, Lincoln researched the Reggio Emilia approach through visiting Reggio Emilia programs in the United States, including delegation days at the St. Louis Collaborative to view the 100 Languages of Children Exhibit.

Since these early beginnings, Lincoln has transformed its educational environment, built a collaborative atmosphere in which teachers can pursue research projects within their classrooms, added staff, and created a Reggio Emilia Studio. Lincoln has been a visiting site for the New England Kindergarten Conference, and has hosted educators from all over the world. As part of our community outreach, we participate in the North American Reggio Emilia Association.

Reggio Emilia Guiding Principles

  • The child as a protagonist. Children are curious and interested in constructing their learning, negotiating with everything their environment brings to them;
  • The child as a collaborator. Education focuses on each child in relation to other children, the family, the teachers and the community, rather than each child in isolation;
  • The environment as a third teacher. The design and use of space encourages encounters, communication, and relationships;
  • The teacher as a researcher. Teachers document their work with children, whom they also consider researchers;
  • The parent as a partner. The exchange of our collective wisdom broadens our understanding of each child.

From Bringing Reggio Home by Louise Cadwell, Teacher College Press, 1997